Photographing the Milky Way

Check out my new article on the Canon USA website, Into the Night: Photographing the Milky Way and Night Sky! 

http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2018/jwu-photographing-milky-way-night-sky.shtml?RID=1-WVR80Z&CON=1-6MG7-3449&PRO=&CID=1-WVMQ86 

 Milky Way at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, photographed at  f/2.8, 30 seconds, ISO 3200 with EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens, Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Milky Way at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, photographed at f/2.8, 30 seconds, ISO 3200 with EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens, Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Happy Photographing!

Jennifer

Photographing the Stars as Points of Light

 

First: Read this blog post on Tips for Photographing the Stars as Points of Light for more description then follow these steps. 

http://blog.jenniferwu.com/blog/quick-tips-to-photograph-the-stars

• Wide Angle Lens. 14-35 full frame, 10-22 for crop sensor cameras.

• Shutter Speed 15-30 Seconds. Example settings no faster than listed:

o Full frame: 14mm at 30 seconds, 16mm at 25 seconds, 24mm at 20 seconds, 30mm at 35mm at 15 seconds.

o Crop sensor: figure out the actual focal length for you lens and use the shutter speed  numbers above. For example if you have a Canon Rebel camera and you are using the 16-35mm at 16mm. Multiply 16mm x 1.6 = 25.6mm. Use the number of seconds for a 24mm lens. If you are using a lens that tells you the actual focal length, you do not need to apply the multiplication factor. 

• Wide open aperture. F/2.8 or faster.

• Set ISO. At f2.8 on a dark night ISO 6400. f/1.4 at ISO 3200.

• Set White Balance to Kelvin temperature 3400 to 4400.

• Set the lens to the focusing point or just backed off from infinity

• Focusing on the stars

• Tape the lens

• Turn off auto focus on the lens

• No filters

• Use the lens hood

• Take Photo and review on LCD screen

• Check histogram and sharpeness

• Check the white balance. Change Kelvin temperature to what you want

• Turn off Long Exposure Noise Reduction

 

Focusing Method 1

• Focus on the moon with auto focus. I use the center focusing point for focusing on the moon or star. Then turn the lens to manual focus.

Focusing Method 2

• Focus on a distant subject, such as a mountain, or say 100 feet away. Look at your lens and check to see where it focuses at for that focal length. Remember that or mark your lens. Turn lens to manual focus.

Focusing Method 3

• Focusing – place a bright star in the center of the frame (use the center focusing point to find it). Use the magnify button to zoom in to the star. Manually focus on the star using a loupe. The star should look small.

 

Check Out the Book

Photography Night Sky: A Field Guide for Shooting After Dark.

Print edition and  Kindle or More Info

My Favorite Photography Resources

Photography Resources

Here are some of my favorite apps, sun and moon information, space weather and more! 

I hope you find this useful! 

Happy Star Trails, 

Jennifer

 

Sun and Moon

Apps: Sun Seeker, Sky Safari, LightTrac, Photographer’s Ephemeris, LightTrac, Clinometer

Sunrise and Sunset Times: www.thetimenow.com or  www.timeanddate.com

Golden Hour: www.golden-hour.com

The Photographer's Ephemeris as an app or computer: stephentrainor.com/tools  

Date Services: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data

The Old Farmer's Almanac - Click on Sun or Phases of the Moon:

http://www.almanac.com/

 

Weather

7 Timer: http://ftp.astron.ac.cn/index.php?lang=en and click on Cloud Cover: http://ftp.astron.ac.cn/wchart.php?lang=en

Clear Sky Chart: cleardarksky.com/csk/

Space Weather: www.spaceweather.com

 

Auroras

App: Aurora Forecast

NOAA: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov 

Aurora Forecast: www.gedds.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/

Astronomy North: http://astronomynorth.com

Spaceweather solar flare activity: www.spaceweather.com

Ovation Auroral Forcast NOAA: http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/

 

Eclipses & Space & Moonbows:

Astronomy Picture of the Day http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html 

Eclipses: eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/lunar.html 

Yosemite Moonbow: https://sites.google.com/site/olsontxstate/workshops

 

Camera Operations

Canon Digital Learning Center: http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=HomePageAct 

Crop Sensor Calculator: http://www.sweeting.org/mark/lenses/canon.php 

 

Dark Skies:

Light Pollution Photographs: http://www.lightpollution.it/dmsp/ 

International Dark-Sky Association IDA: http://www.darksky.org 

 

Stars and Milky Way

Starry Nights is what I use and showed in class: www.starrynights.com   

Apps: Star Walk II- I showed this in class, Heavens Above, PhotoPills, Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day

Free software for viewing the location of the stars for both windows and Mac. www.stellarium.org 

 

Meteors

Stardate: stardate.org/nightsky/meteors

Apps: Meteor Shower Calendar

 

Star Trail Stacking Software

Startails free software: www.startrails.de/html/software.html take a dark frame with the same exposure, put lens cap on the camera, and it can use that to reduce noise. 

http://www.schursastrophotography.com/software/photoshop/startrails.html www.tawbaware.com/imgstack.htm

StarStaX free software http://www.markus-enzweiler.de/StarStaX/StarStaX.html  

 

Long Exposure Calculator Apps: there are a number of free apps, as well as others for a fee. PhotoPills

 

Depth of Field Calculator

DOFMaster.com and app

PhotoPills App

 

Focus Stacking Software:

Helicon Focus: Can use RAW files and saves as DNG file. http://www.heliconsoft.com 

Zerene Systems: Very precise with macro fine details. 

 

Check Out the Book

Photography Night Sky: A Field Guide for Shooting After Dark.

Print edition and  Kindle or More Info